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BREAKING NEWS ~ Supreme Court rules in age discrimination suit

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court handed down a decision Wednesday morning in Smith v. City of Jackson [case backgrounder from Duke Law School], ruling that workers over the age of 40 need not show proof of discriminatory intent in lawsuits brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act [text]. Read the court's majority opinion [PDF text], per Justice Stevens, along with Justice O'Connor's concurrence [PDF text] and Justice Scalia's concurrence [PDF text]. Chief Justice Rehnquist took no part in the decision. AP has more.

10:40 AM ET -- The Supreme Court also handed down decisions in two other cases Wednesday morning. In Exxon Mobil v. Saudi Basic Industries [Duke law school case backgrounder], the Court ruled that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which prevents lower federal courts from sitting in direct review of state court decisions, is confined to cases brought by state court losers complaining of injuries caused by state court judgments rendered before federal district court proceedings commenced and inviting district court review and rejection of those judgments. The court held that Rooker-Feldman does not otherwise override doctrines allowing federal courts to stay or dismiss proceedings in deference to state-court actions. Read the Court's unanimous opinion [PDF text], written by Justice Ginsburg.

In Rhines v. Weber [Duke Law School case backgrounder], the Court ruled that a federal court district court has discretion to stay (rather than being compelled to dismiss) a habeas corpus petition which includes exhausted and unexhausted claims, in order to allow a petitioner to present his unexhausted claims to the state court in the first instance and then to return to federal court for review of his perfected petition. Read the Court's opinion [PDF text] per Justice O'Connor, along with Justice Stevens' concurrence [PDF text] and Justice Souter's concurrence [PDF text].

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